dark store: a large retail facility that resembles a typical grocery store but is not open to the public and meant for the sole purpose to fulfill orders that are placed online.
Dark stores are nothing new in the grocery industry, but since the start of the COVID pandemic in March of 2020, they have become more and more common. Many grocery aisles weren’t originally built to meet the growing demand for online shopping and fulfillment, and that became very apparent over the last year as online orders skyrocketed, and fulfillment carts started filling the aisles.
With the increased demand from online orders, retailers need to make sure they are optimizing all resources and appropriately utilizing technology to fulfill online grocery and foodservice orders efficiently and cost-effectively.
ADC’s eCommerce fulfillment platform, ShopperKit, works for all store formats from traditional retail stores to micro-fulfillment centers, dark stores, commissaries, and warehouses. The platform’s core functionality optimizes pick paths, zone picking, multi-order picking, auto-assigned batch picking, and bulk collect picking and works for any fulfillment format.
ShopperKit’s Hub and Spoke functionality takes dark stores to new heights by allowing retailers to fulfill orders, both partial and complete orders, from a dedicated fulfillment hub and then have those orders delivered to one or more spoke stores. Orders can then be topped off and readied by store associates, for pickup by the customer. The hub and spoke also allows orders to be split between dark store and retail pickup store so workers in the spoke store may pick all the fresh items for the order from the retail store while the dark store focuses on fulfilling the center aisle portion of the order.
Whatever the store format, ShopperKit can effectively enable online order fulfillment at scale. Request a demo and learn more about the platform.
About the Author
Steve Paro is COO and SVP of Product at ADC. Prior to ADC, Steve was ShopperKit, Inc's CTO and Managing Partner of VelocityChain. Steve is a seasoned technology and project management professional with a unique track record of successfully applying agile to large-scale enterprise software implementations to deliver innovative and efficient supply chain technology solutions for his customers. With two decades of enterprise technology delivery experience, and hands-on experience in coaching, leading, and managing agile teams, Steve brings verifiable, concrete results to his clients.